In August, a finback whale that curled up to die on a shore in the Hamptons was buried in the sand; in 1964, a whale found in the Hudson, off of 79th street, was towed out to sea and detonated with 500 pounds of explosives. For the last 24 hours, a 60-foot finback whale has lain mute and emaciated on the shore outside the burned husk of Breezy Point, Queens, slowly suffocating under the weight of its own, no-longer-buoyant body. This morning, it stopped breathing, and biologists from the National Marine Fisheries Service declared it dead.
Now the whale's body must be disposed of. That the whale died of natural causes makes the job easier; had the Park and Fisheries services euthanized it, the toxicity of its corpose would limit their options. They've ruled out blowing this whale up; instead the two agencies will coordinate to find a landfill, or possibly bury it in the sand, a few hundred yards from the charred remains of Breezy Point, surrounded by the debris and refuse of Hurricane Sandy.
On another shore we come across a second sick and soon-to-rot body: the lifeless, shriveled near-corpse of 2012, heaving weakly in the lapping waves of time. How do we dispose of the past year when it finally flatlines in five days? I vote detonation.